The Chairman, Senate Committee on Arts, Tourism and Culture, Senator Owelle Rochas Okorocha has acceded to the proposal by the Society For Nigeria Theatre Artistes (SONTA) for a legislation to ensure proper legislation for the arts and entertainment sector for enhanced productivity and more professional outputs.
The Imo West Senator who has been a consistent supporter of the arts and tourism industry said that the potentials in the Nigerian arts sector have been largely untapped as a result of inadequate attention to the sector by the Nigerian political leadership over the years.
He however, assured that with President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to the diversification of the economy, the sector will receive the needed attention.
Speaking in during an advocacy visit by theatre, entertainment and media academics at his Unity House office, Abuja, the multi-billionaire real estate investor turned politician, advised the group to research into untapped areas of the arts sector, especially in the area of technology and ICT.
In his words; “The arts, tourism and entertainment sector requires enhanced funding as it has the potential to be Nigeria’s biggest revenue earner after oil. However, we must advance with global trends by investing resources towards proffesionalising, digitalizing and regulating the sector, to ensure enhanced productivity and revenue generation.”
Speaking earlier, the President of the Nigeria Society of Theatre Artistes, Professor Alex Asigbo described the immediate past governor of Imo State as; “a most education and arts friendly politician”.
The former dean of the faculty of Arts, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka and Director, Center For Arts and African Studies of the university, advocated for more attention to the arts sector as he argued that the sector has the capacity to provide millions of jobs, while presenting a better image of the country before the world.
“There is a bill for the regulation of the entertainment and arts sector and we are at advanced stage in our discussions with the NUC for the introduction of faculty of creative studies and we seek your legislative and political support for the growth of the creative arts sector in Nigeria.”
The SONTA delegation also comprised of a former Chief of Staff to the Benue State Government, Professor Saint Gbileka, Dr. Jonathan Ejoor and Tosin Time of the Federal University, Ekiti State and also Associate Professor Olympus Mbachega of the University of Abuja.
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